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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Us 15, Washington 9, Boehner 8, Luke 4, D.c. 4, America 3, Norman Schwarzkopf 3, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 3, Citi 3, Jacobs 2, Kelly O'donnell 2, Jill Lawrence 2, Murray 2, Susan Rice 2, Phillips 2, The Nation 2, Medicare 2, Amr 2, Navy 2, Michael 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    December 28, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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last-ditch effort to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. >> getting a little more optimistic today. there's sometimes darkest before the dawn. >> right now we are at a stalemate because we haven't been willing to -- democrats haven't been willing to consider the issue of spend. >> there's some signs of possible flexibility but first of all, it would be helpful if the house of representatives came back. >> like it was a harvard law review just to show who is the smartest person in the room. we don't need the smartest person in the room. we immediate somebody to say all right, america, we need to deal with revenues. that's the bad news. we immediate to deal with the medicare fiscal cliff or you are not going on get your medical bills paid. >> remembering an american original. >> iraqis are dumb muff to attack her going to pay a terrible price. >> nicknamed stormin' norman for his ledgendary temper. he died thursday due to
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complications from pneumonia. it is a year comes to a close, we look back at the amr moments that left us starstruck and speechless in 2012. good day. i'm luke russert. live in washington, d.c. in for andrea this afternoon is the calm before the economic storm white house officials and congressional leaders have kept quiet. ahead of the pivotal round table discussions we all hope can produce some kind of plan to prevent a fiscal cliff dive in the new year. you guessed it. another day without a deal means more losses on wall street. look at those numbers will. 68 down for the dow. joining for the daily fix, nbc white house correspondent peter alexander. nbc's kelly o'donnell live on capitol hill. and jonathan capeheart. peter, let me start with you. there's this meeting at 3:00 p.m. at the white house between the president and congress allege leaders. any optimism there? there's some -- little bit of a trickle of maybe some sort of
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compromise deal with rates starting at 400,000 instead of 2 r50. how is the white house feeling about this meting coming up at 3:00? is this more important show? >> at the white house at least from the conversations we have had with aides and other members of the staff, it is pretty clear they recognize that this is a big deal. they also recognize that they think the ground rules remain the same. reporters like myself back to exactly what the president said a week ago was the fact that he wanted to extend the bush era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 and focusing on the unemployment insurance for more than 2 million americans who are already receiving letters within the next days. as early as tomorrow, luke, they will stop getting those checks if nothing changes. it will be the last check they will get if nothing changes going forward. recognize the five who will be here in this private meeting will be meeting for the first time since before thanksgiving. so while the president said a week ago he was open to several steps to get a comprehensive package done, he said could it happen all at once, over the course of several steps at this point the most optimistic
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perspective coming from here is that they can make those small steps to get through the new year and have to relitigate this again in the beginning of the new year. >> wouldn't that be fun for all involved. kelly o., on the hill, tapped into boehner. they have been saying all along that it is up for the senate to act and the president to act and the house has done its will, washed their hands of it. what's john boehner thinking going into this meeting? what do they hope to get if anything from it? >> what i'm hearing more broadly, luke is that there are so many conversations going on right now. and there seems to be more interest in one of the ideas that boehner has talked about which is use what the house has already passed which would extend all of the tax rates where they are right now and then amend it. and part of what is happening here is what can be done in terms of the wheels of legislation, what can be done in terms of political will. lots of conversations are happening. what we are learning is that no new paper has traded hands, if you will, so no actual proposals have been exchanged. will are very substantive
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discussions going on between people who are at a senior level in these negotiations. looking at ways they can probably bridge thing divide. some of the things we have been talking about is put the income tax rates somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000. deal with some of the other concerns about estate taxes. deal with unemployment been pits. there is a whole sort of menu list of issues that have varying degrees of importance to both parties and trying to pare down something passable. what i think is helpful is the parties are now in terms of the senate meeting now for sort of each party having a discussion going into these meetings today and -- there are some that say that could help to tee things up. if there is something that goes political open tinges at the 3:00 meeting at that time white house they may be able to move forward with something on paper. lots of encouraging signs if conversation were deal making we would be golden. but at this point nothing official has exchanged hands. but it could happen at any minute. >> you never know. it could happen this weekend, it
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could happen new year's eve. seems like they are trying to get to some point where the president could say hey, look, republicans, take this deal, better than what will happen in a pew days. jonathan capehart, i want to go to you. as we approach the fiscal cliff, approach the deadline, the president is still polls better than house republicans in terms of how they dealt with the crisis, better -- if this doesn't end up happening, who gets the lion's share blame, do you think, heading into the next year? will the president still be able to maintain his popularity? >> the president may take a little bit after hit on his popularity as everyone involved in process will p.m. but as you said, the president is sitting on very good job approval ratings compared to congress as a whole and specifically republicans. i think they will get the lion's share of the blame. and to touch on something kelly mentioned in her report about how one of the ideas being discussed is taking the boehner bill of extending all of the bush tax cuts, sending it to the senate and having them amend it, i don't see how you get -- how that would be welcomed among
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senate democrats because, you know, were would -- why would they vote for that? i think we should look as the -- you know, the cliff notes michael o'brien wrote on nbc news to see where congressional leaders in the white house land in terms of the number. is it 200 income above 250,000? or is it income above $400,000 as the president proposed last week? or is it some other number? the 3:00 meet sing going to be very -- aftermath of the 3:00 meet sing going to be very interesting to see and to hear what comes out of it, if anything. >> yeah. it is ball the threshold. what will be that number if -- is it -- good enough for the republicans willing to make a deal so that they don't have to take a worse deal in a pew days? whether or not they will understand that we will see. kelly o'don ol', peter alexan r alexander, jonathan capeheart, thanks for bog the show. much of the impact from going over the fiscal cliff will be spread out over a period of months or even years. but millions will feel the
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effects as soon as the ball drops on january 1. payroll taxes will rise for 120 million working households. the federal law that extends unemployment benefits for 39 weeks will disappear leaving millions unable to file. doctors will see an immediate cut in medicare payments from the government. here to talk about this with us, jared bernstein who served as vice president biden's chief economist and now senior fellow the center of budget and policy orders. msnbc contributor. we thank you so much for coming on the show. mr. bernstein, i want to put up a graphic in terms of the literal impact going over the fiscal cliff. if you make $20,000 you will see tax hike of $412. if you are middle $, 40,000 to $65,000, average tax hike of fearly nearly $2,000 which is significant. is this being lost on the policymakers now? >> i think it is.
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i mean -- if you -- were really concerned about how middle income people are doing and howing the unemployed are doing, how the average person who depends on their pay paycheck, not their stock portfolio is doing, you quickly resolve these cliff issues so the tax rates don't revert to get you the results you just showed. very quickly extend unemployment. i mean, i thought the point that someone made earlier in the reporting was critical. there are millions, couple million, actually, of unemployed people who have been on the rolls already. we know that they are hurting economically. there are not enough jobs out there. it is not their fault. have you that. then, of course, payroll tax holiday as you mentioned, paychecks take a hit as well. >> we are starting to see signs of this within the markets. i'm going to put up this brafic. consumer confidence dropped from the 71.25 in november to 65.1 in december. that's four times the expected 1.25. this is -- quite significant. >> i thought it was significant as well. i think a lot of us in these
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beltway discussions walk around thinking that oh, nobody out there is paying attention to this. it is -- it is an inside baseball thing. i think the -- gridlock, political dysfunction, just your government is not working for you, really has pervaded public consciousness and you see that in the confidence numbers. consumers represent 70% of our gdp consumer spending. if we have -- employment benefits fading, paychecks taking a hit, if you have the tax burden going up, confidence. that hurts this economic recovery. now i do believe that -- this if it is a have quick trip off the cliff, kind of a bunky jump, i don't think those bad effects will necessarily take place in lasting way. it is very -- that's just a few -- >> you can't go three weeks like that. right. >> that's right. >> it has to be -- what's the -- what would you say the number? >> i would say -- i -- no, i would say, you know, a couple of weeks. i would say if we are -- if we are -- towards the end of
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january, and still squabbling, the damage will be felt in many of the ways we have been discuss. >> you had an interesting piece of advice important the president. you said, quote, if i were president -- this is what happens if -- if we go over the cliff. i would take the position all the givebacks he offered in the prom prom ice, higher threshold, chained cpi, new ril onin spending cuts, the debt ceiling still in play, are no longer on the table. do you think they will be that tough after going over the cliff? >> i think they might. some of the issues i think they would. when the president says i am not negotiating on the debt ceiling and the house had a chance to actually keep that leverage for them alive by kicking it down the road a year or two years in the president's offer, and they didn't accept that deal. the deal with the 400,000 threshold, the chain cpi, by
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rejecting that deal i believe that the president has every right to take the stance i suggested and i suspect he will -- especially on the debt ceiling. i believe him when he says i won't negotiate on it. >> he would rye to avoid the fight in february. this is a fight you believe would have zir implications to the economy. much more than the fiscal cliff. >> exactly. the debt ceiling is a cliff. the fiscal cliff is somewhat misname because as we said -- >> slope. >> slope. curb. go over and get back. it is not so bad. but, you know, there's no sort of we defaulted yesterday and today we are sort of undefaulting. it doesn't work that way. once you defaulted on your debt, i mean, you have really sent the world a message you are deeply dysfunctional and the president has said i'm not going to negotiate over that. i'm not going to allow that kind of threat to the credit worthiness of the greatest economy in the world. >> yet, that's where all of the republicans want to have their next fight. >> that's where they want to have the fight. give it to them or not. i suspect he won't.
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>> quite a few days followed by quite a few months. thanks so much for joining us. we appreciate it. why do some washington power brokers want to go over the fiscal cliff? the political brief sing next. first, the amr moment of 2012 that left us all speechless. i'm not kidding. this literally left me speech weathers it happened. you will remember it. >> contraceptive thing, my gosh, it is such inexpensive. back in my days, they used bayer aspirin, they put it between their knees and it was not that costly? ? >> excuse me, i'm just trying to catch my breath from that.
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this afternoon's meeting feels like optics, to make it look like we are doing something. let me say one more time, this is a total dereliction of duty
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at every level. i have been surprised that -- the president has not laid out a very specific plan to deal with this. but candidly, congress could have done the same. and i think that the american people should be disgusted. >> this's just four days until washington drives off the so-called fiscal cliff. something both democrats and republicans have called a worst case scenario. is temporarily going tv cliff is a best-case scenario for all parties involved? joining me now is maggie haberman. thank you for bog the show. >> thanks for having me. >> i want to play something that pat write murray said just a few days after the election from november. >> we just had an election where president obama ran on that. we increased our majority in the senate with democratic candidates who said that to solve this problem the wealthiest americans have to pay their fair share, too.
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so -- if the republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a point at the end of the year where all of the tax cuts expire and we will start over next year and whatever we do will be a tax cut for whatever package we put together. >> when senator murray first said that there is a lot of -- anger on the gop saying she's willing to take us over the fiscal cliff. even some democrats said it was too early to have that mindset. but it seems to be that's what a lot of democrats would now like to see so they can get the 250 number or bell go they certainly don't see the harm necessarily in this happening. or at least the downside doesn't necessarily -- outweigh the positives which is, as you described is the tax cut on the wealthiest earners at a certain threshold. i think that will is a difference between the two sides wanting to go over the cliff which republicans have said dash in part based on that statement that the democrats actively want to go over the cliff. i don't think that's necessarily true. i think that if there is a real
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danger for both sides in the short term if we go over the cliff because it is bad for the country and, therefore, that will be bad for everybody. that would be bad for the president. but it is true that democrats will be able to get, i think, more of what they want. i think it is worse for republicans. you know as well as anybody that the problems within the house gop caucus are pretty deep. those are going to continue. regardless of whether we over the cliff or not. i think republicans also -- as my colleague wrote today, see a lot of benefit in going over the cliff because then they will say we didn't approve the pre-cliff deal that would raise taxes. >> inertia scenario, essentially we will both to keep taxes down just a few days later going over the cliff. want to put something on the screen alex figured out today. the 113th congress -- this is, to me, where the whole game is. there will be six republican members who were r in democrat-friendly districts. 18 democrats in gop friendly
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districts. that to me is why we have this type of -- why we have nothing done. that there is nobody who doesn't necessarily have to worry about their job from someone coming at them from an opposite party. is that something that is unforeseen in american politics now? you covered it a long time. where folks are so willing to let the country, you know, go downing the tubes for the sake of winning a primary? >> i think it shouldn't be unforeseen but i think it crept up on people as the new reality. i think we heard a lot of talk about especially as it pertains to the fiscal cliff how few consequences there are in terms of inaction. the consequence is losing your seat. the consequence is losing your office. and so that is what these folks are the most concerned about. they are most concerned about a primary as -- we talked a lot about the issues on the right. the president is under a lot of pressure from his own base, too in teermt of entitlements and cuts republicans want as, you know, better than anyone. so, yes, i think that that --
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stat where democrats in terms of gop friendly districts speaks as much as anything as to why not much is likely to happen. doesn't mean it won't. but not is much likely. >> you are someone that -- value -- i value your judgment in terms of seeing how the media is crafting the story. it seems the word today on friday is optimism, grows ahead of the 3:00 m. meeting. will is starting to be a leak out of the possible compromise deal. from where you stand now, do you think -- we are going have any type of compromise? is this thing going over? >> i personally think we are going to have some kind of a small-scale compromise. i realize i'm the minority on that. i think mostly because as i said, i think that the negative outcome for the president is -- real. i think it is a greater negative potential for republicans. if the markets open on wednesday and things are a mess and that continues for days and days and days, there are negative headlines all over the place and impact global markets. i just don't see how that is a positive for the president.
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>> t.a.r.p. all over again. thanks so much for being on the show. still ahead, remembering a war hero. general norman schwarzkopf. another amr moment from 2012. the race for the cure. another unbelievable piece of the. >> let me tell you what i was confronted with at the gym this morning. a woman came over to me. hi not met her before. gray-haired woman. probably in her 60s. she was wearing a gray t-shirt. she said look at my t-shirt. it is inside out. i put it on by accident today. i'm not going to wear it anymore. i have torn the label out. it is a a colin t-shirt. they are asking how could this have taken place? >> >> well, andrea, i frankly think, you know, i don't know. it is a mischaracterization of certainly our goals, our mission and everything that we do. and in fact, we haven't defunded planned parenthood.
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topping the headlines on "andrea mitchell reports," three police officers were shot ask injured today after a suspect opened fire at a new jersey police station. the suspect who is being held at the gloucester township station was shot and killed inside the building. two of the officers suffered graze wounds and were treated and released. the third was shot wise in the leg and underwent surgery. russian president putin signed the bill banning u.s. citizens from adopting russian children today. the action could affect hundreds of u.s. families when it takes effect january 1. russia is the third most popular country for americans to adopt behind china and ethiopia. former president george h.w. bush remains in the intensive care unit of a houston hospital today. in a statement his longtime chief of staff urged the to put the harps back in the closet. the former president is 88 years old and has been in the hospital
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since november 23 for a bad case of bronchitis. he has since suffered a series of complications. the national weather service has issued a new winter storm warning for the eastern half of the country as a new system threatens to cause even more travel headaches throughout the region. this comes after more than 21 inches of snow and rain already fell in the northeast. record snowfall in arkansas has left nearly 200,000 people without power. joining me now is the weather channel's kelly cass. kelly, i'm here in washington, d.c. we are hearing warnings from d.c. to maine. don't drive on saturday. you know, hunker down. what's going to hit the east coast over the weekend? >> it will get messy, that's for sure. a lot of people are still trying to travel, get home from christmas or try to get to their new year's eve destination. right now it is looking good for travel along the new york state thruway. right down towards the beltway, washington, d.c. the snow that's falling right now in chicago and in parts of michigan and wisconsin, that's one storm system that's going to
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merge with another one developing along the gulf coast. you can see all of the heavy rain that's bringing -- being brought down in louisiana and portions of mississippi as well. there is a chance we could see isolated severe storms. moving into portions of ohio down towards evans i will have and pittsburgh by later on tonight. cold enough to support snow. temperatures just below the freezing mark. we have the cold their place here comes the snow into manhattan. we are thinking for you guys in washington, d.c., it may be more of a mix of rain and snow here. 32, pittsburgh. winds would economic as well. we will be dealing with quite a bit of snow important the mount theous areas and adirondacks and green mountains and on over towards maine as well as temperatures will be teens and 20s. wind will make it feel even
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worse and we are always going to have to watch out for the severe side of things especially closer to the gulf coast. >> it will make for an interesting weekend of football weather certainly. we want it cold for when the redskins beat the cowboys. remembering one of the greatest military giants of our time. general norman swharts cchwarzk. the 30-year-old law student who spoke out after being shut out in an all-male hearing on female contraceptives and turned it into a slot speaking at the convention. >> you were in our greenroom getting ready to come on. the white house now tells us we can reveal that you just got off the phone with president obama. >> yes, i did. >> mistaks stakes have been rad. >> he encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of american women and what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that
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visit sprint.com/drive. thursday americans lost a man described as a hero by many. retired general stormin' norman schwarzkopf died due to complications of pneumonia. he was the military man behind the gulf storm. he's remembered by president obama as an american original and by former president bush as a goodman and dear friend. joining me now by phone are our msnbc military analysts, medal of honor recipient colonel jacobs. colonel jacobs, you were mentioning how innovative general schwarzkopf was. talk about that for us. >> one of the families of high ranking family in any walk of life is sometime this have a
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tendency to surround themselves with yes men because they are intimidated by team who are smarter than they are and more innovative than they are and worry about failing by comparison and contrast and schwartzkopf wasn't like that at all. he surround himself with very good people. among them at air force colonel named john warden who is the architect of the air campaign which made everything on the ground possible. the large majority of high ranking people would have been intimidated by somebody who thought outside the box like jordan warden did but not general schwartzkopf. >> you were working on the ground with general schwartzkopf. discuss strategy and how he did that during the con applicant. >> first of all, to add to jack's point, schwarzkopf was a man of unbelievable intelligence and volcanic energy and -- you know, i think soldiers loved the
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guy. but in retrospect, in history, what we ought to really recognize is that the combination of general schwartzko schwartzkopf, colin powell, the wonderful first president bush, all three of them were men who understood the limits of military power. and were cautious and actually didn't want to fight unless forced to and they did fight they used overwhelming force. schwartzkopf's contribution -- he was trying -- a lot of brilliant people. so-called jedi knights, bunch of army-navy marine air force young guys who came up with a strategy to not batter directly away at the enemy force. remember that iraqi army. fourth largest army in the world. it had thousands and thousands of tanks and artillery pieces. and if you look at our military history, frequently what we have had, you know, world war ii, the
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italian theater, korea, korean peninsula, just battering away directly at an enemy. schwarzkopf, when he unveiled that plan, i was a division commander, sitting in a room with admirals and generals waiting to hear what we were going to do and schwarzkopf personally briefed it when he pulled the cover off of the map, we gasped and said -- by god, this is it. it is a giant wheeling motion to the west to cut them off and instead of directly attack the enemy. magnificent soldier. >> something always strikes me about general schwarzkopf especially read being him now is that you know, after vietnam, the military went through a pretty dark time. not necessarily beloved by the public like they are now. and general schwartzkopf is very instrumental in being the public face of a sort of new american war hero that was not seen directly after vietnam. can you talk about that role he played? >> well, he see it is role.
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he was good at doing that. he was -- very smart guy with respect to the public relations and two things came together sort of sa-- the first was the revolution of the distribution of information that gave us 24-hour notice. and the second was norman schwarzkopf who led the briefings rather than have some flunky do the public affairs briefings at the end of the day to feel the press in on what was going on. he could control the information and he knew the -- exactly what was going to happen on the ground because it was his staff that put the plan together and so he exuded this confidence that only he could do -- he could exude and got everybody or most people on his side. he became the face of the military establishment which is, as you said, which had been terribly tarnished over a period of years and endeared not just himself to the public who saw him and even the press. the american people.
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which is far more important. >> colonel jack jacobs and mccaffrey, thank you for joining us with your thoughts on general schwarzkopf. he is being remembered today on capitol hill even as lawmakers dig in for 11th hour negotiations on the fiscal cliff. with me now former pennsylvania democratic congressman and retired three-star navy admiral joe sestak who served as campaign press secretary for rick santorum. i want to get -- quick sfrons you about general schwartzkopf. you are a military man. it is remarkable to me while he was very much involved in desert storm, he was a little critical of the iraq war when no weapons of mass destruction were found the second time. >> i think that's because his legacy will be that he is a soldier's soldier. as was mentioned he knew when was the cost of this war. not only for the nation but individuals. if you remember that one briefing, mother of all briefings, one journalist said to him why isn't the marine corps going more quickly lou the
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mine fields and looked at that journalist and said have you ever been in a minefield? i have in viet ma'am. put each foot down not knowing if it will be blown off. he was cautious for the nation and for his men and women. what a great general. >> indeed. now we will take a turn to politics. obviously democrat and republican we have here and i will start with the republican. thanks so much for joining us. obviously there seems to be a little bit of optimism ahead of the 3:00 meeting at the white house. do you think that republicans are trying to get some sort of deal here perhaps get the threshold of 400,000, could they sell that to their conservative members? >> well, let's hope so. let's -- let's hope there's some movement of the balm down the field. and -- there has been so much emphasis on the 250,000 or 400,000 in terms of the tax rates. when we need to look at the spending. just for argument sake if we only look at the tax issue, if we give the president all of the tax rate increases he wants, we are still looking at trillion dollar deficits every year. and the reality is that the
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house has already sent would measures on to the senate. one addressed the continuing bush era tax rates and the other that would erase the military spending. those are in the hands of the senate. they can act on those right now. we can put this thing to rest. we will wait and see what happens in this meeting and hopefully we will come to some kind of agreement to avoid this cliff. >> what do you think the best thing to come out of this meeting? >> i think that speaker boehner and the president walk out and be able to announce they have a team in next three days that will have an outline in which -- alice just mentioned the details will be hammered out in the first would weeks in january. we have that amount of time to stop the fiscal cliff. if we go over the fiscal cliff $700 billion of spending will be taken out of our economy. we have to change the scale of that fiscal cliff to a slight gradual bunny slope. so that our economy won't be zero next year. that is in a recession which will occur if we take $700 billion out of it because of the tax increases and spending cuts. about 100 to $200 billion is all that we can afford to take out
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of it. then our gross domestic product will still grow at about 2.5% to 3%. that's the first step. then speaker boehner and the president come together. they are within $500 billion of step two. $3 trillion debt reduction. all he is there to do is come back and -- $2.5 trillion -- >> next ten years. >> that's where we need them to generate the political will that's right for america's economy. >> i want to ask you about political will. we look at he is mums and it seems there is a lot of republicans that are weary of the -- agreeing to any deal because of a threat of a primary. a lot of the folks in the house chop from conservative districts. barack obama is a bad word. they don't want any association with them. how much of that do you think is a real issue here and how do you strategize around that to sort of try to -- lift off this label of being intrasigient.
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>> from the gop side there are a lot of members in congress that say they do not want to support any kind of tax increase at this point. that prefer to go over the cliff and debate it in january. because they know it would harm them come midterm. but the -- fact of the matter is that -- every conservative in washington understands that we don't have a taxing problem. we have a spending problem. while this issue of viding the fiscal cliff getting past this is not going to be an easy issue to fix. but it is not complicated. we cannot continue to overspend more than we take in. so we immediate to address the spending. more than anything i think the republicans are look agent what's not in their personal best interests but what's in the best interest of the country. and the way we avoid further debt and deficit is to cut spending. >> will we hear -- their -- come up with debt limitations again the boehner principle for every dollar the debt limit is raised we have a cut in spending. that seems to me that -- where there is a huge ideological
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divide between both parties, republicans say the problem is about spending and democrats say it is all about lack of revenue, how -- how does -- is that bridged in this year? can it be bridged? >> yes, it can. both president obama and speaker boehner have already begun to do a principle compromise. speaker boehner said i'm ready to raise taxes on those over a million dollars. president obama said i'm ready to have a new type of chain to consumer price index which -- impacts entitlement reform. the bipartisan national debt commission, simpson-bowles commission, said for every dollar of spending reduction, including the entitlement reform we immediate to have $1 in tax revenue. that's the principle compromise we have to have. so they are not far off. what we have to have is very simple. $4 trillion in debt reduction by this one-third, two-third division. because that gives us a sustainable debt to gdp ratio so the economy can go booming
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again. so i believe those two men have the economies of our nation best at heart and have to come a little closer and a little $500 billion sounds like a lot. $2.5 trillion. we have to do both to have a principled come prom nice quickly, both of you, i start with you, do you think something gets done in the next few days? >> i'm afraid say that i don't think that we will avoid the fiscal cliff. i think we will go over and be debating this again in january and also i hate to say that, luke, i'm frayed your redskins will lose on sunday. >> more of a bills fan but -- i want them to beat the cowboys. we all hate the cowboys. lastly -- navy did beat army. so i'm happy. look, at the bottom line is we will go over 1 january with the fiscal cliff. but there will be an agreement in the first would weeks of january which will be fine in order to have the first step not of debt $4 trillion reduction but of getting that $700 billion fiscal cliff down to a gradual slope so our economy can keep
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accelerating of $100 billion in debt reduction and that's about all our economy can sustain. >> we will see how much the economy can sustain. thanks for joining us. up next, the cabinet shuffle. who ultimately holds the power as president obama builds a team for his second term? first the amr moment of 2012 that left us a little starstruck. that's andrea with bono. >> an exclusive rock star, humanitarian, global crusader against hiv-aids and poverty, bono is here. we are live in washington with bono. >> i think people are sending a message to this g-8 please don't let it be a talking show. we know iran is important. we know the euro is important. critically important if you live in europe as i do. actually, the idea of taking 50 million people out of poverty over the next ten years if that's possible, wow, after the stuff we have done on aides as
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[ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey! a lot of advice these days but not a whole lot of consent when it comes to presidential cabinet appointments. what used to be an easy confirmation process has fast become bitter partisan battles between the white house and the senate. which often lead leave crucial areas of government without an important leader. it may have started with this contentious supreme court nomination a few decades ago. >> there is no room at the inn for blacks and no place in the constitution for women. in our america there should be no seat on the supreme court for robert bork. >> joining me now, national journal, jill lawrence who is out with a new article on congress' growing influence on presidential picks. thanks important being on the
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show. we appreciate it. >> good to be here, luke. >> we are seeing a level of blocking of the president's nominees for a cabinet position over the last three administrations that's unprecedented in history. i'm going to put it up the screen here. we have failed nominees. seven rejected by congress. 13 withdrew nominations. 20 in total. that's throughout history. entire history of this republic. look back over the last three administrations. search rejected or withdrawn. roughly a third have come in the last three administrations. why is it so difficult these days for a president to get their choice which is afforded to them by winning the election into a cabinet position? >> well, winning doesn't mean as much as it used to. i think it is a reflection of the polarization of the country in general. and just the -- sort of perfection of obstruction techniques in the senate by both parties. and, in fact, it makes a case
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for reforming the senate. but just in general, you know, there are people who are not just blocked after they have been mom natured. will are people whose nominations are blocked before they are nominated as we have just seen with susan rice. and we may be in the process of seeing with chuck hague well will is a real -- effect -- i mean, this has a real effect on the country which i think is lost on a lot of people. we get caught up in the politics of it all. you have these very important agencies and very important ten epts of government that are left without a leader and left without the ability to do the job of the american people need them to do. and it -- it -- it creates a lot of strife. >> well, it does. it also doesn't do much important the image of congress which could hardly sink any lower but somehow it does keep sinking lower. it kind of adds to the sense of dysfunction in washington. as you say, it does have practical has practical affects for instance the environmental protection agency, the lisa jackson is leaving at the administrator. >> right.
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>> that's an agency that probably needs a very, you know, strong leader to pursue its mission because it's so politically controversial. >> lastly, you think that it shouldn't be in president obama's interest to move forward of controversial nominees because, say, waste of political capital? >> well, i think that's probably the case. i wrote that about susan rice because there was another candidate, john kerry, who seemed to be e calorie qualified if not more so and would be a good secretary of state. now, being a senator doesn't always mean easy confirmation as we're seeing with the chuck hagel potential nomination. >> that's what happens when you're not a democrat or a republican enough. jill lawrence, "national journal," thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. what political story makes headlines in next 24 hours? but first, our amr moment. sir elton john calls for an end to the stigma attached to aids and hiv. >> the scene has changed.
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which political story makes headlines the next 24 hours? jonathan capehart is back with us. hot note off the press. kelly o'donnell says the president will make a smaller offer without the $400,000 threshold. we don't know the rate will be and a smaller offer meant to avert some of the most serious things of going off the fiscal cliff. i think it's hard for republicans to agree to anything that's not an extension above 250, essentially. they need to bring back something to the members to get done. >> sure. again, remember this is a negotiation that's going to happen we hope at 3:00. and, you know, we'll be talking tomorrow about what happened at the meeting if we know, the tone, the tenor. what they agreed to or didn't
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agree to. and whether we're going to be talking about this, a resolution on new year's eve or what we're going to do once we flip over the cliff. >> we are going over, new year's eve, unbelievable. jonathan, thank you so much for joining us. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." craig melvin has a look at what's next. craig, how are you, waiting? >> i was waiting on your exclusive with rg3. >> they won't get it to me because of the injury. i will. >> go skins. >> indeed. live pictures of white house where luke russert mentioned, members expected to arrive within the hour to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. talking about the latest information that just came out. the president reportedly set to offer a smaller plan. deadline just four days away. we'll go to capitol hill. also, we'd like to hear from
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